Wednesday 12 December 2018

Wet n Wild Photo Focus Foundation

When Wet n Wild was first launched at Boots I was really interested in trying some products from their range. I am always on the look out for new foundations, and with my recent skin changes I am still working out what foundation works best with my skin.

I have never been able to wear matte foundation before, so I thought this was a good opportunity to see how this finish would now look on my skin. This is advertised is containing a light-diffusing complex which gives your skin a #nofilter matte finish. Before applying the foundation I use an oil free hydrating moisturiser and a glowy primer. I do not like my skin to look too matte, as I like a natural, glowy finish. This photofocus foundation aims to diffuse the flashback which happens when we take photos. They say that flashback occurs when white particles in makeup reflect when flash is used in photography, they have eliminated the white cast particles within this foundation to prevent this from happening. 

In my Boots store I was unimpressed with the shade range as there was only 4 shades available. I was doing a bit of research for this post and noticed that our Boots online has 6 shades, however on the USA Wet n Wild website they in fact have a shade range of 20. In 2018 for Boots to only invest in a range of 6 shades it is clearly never going to be inclusive of a range of skin tones. For me, the shade nude ivory is a perfect match for me. I probably go as far as saying that this is one of the most perfectly matched foundations for my skin which I own. The bottle says it is for a light neutral skin tone. I would usually go for a foundation which is more catered for a pink undertone, but on this occasion this is a great match. 

I am a big lover of a pump applicator, as you can control how much product you need and you do not end up wasting any. This foundation comes with a small flat shovel shaped applicator. It is definitely not my favourite chose of applicator as it ends up getting a bit messy. When I first started testing this out about 4 weeks ago I was applying this straight onto my Beautyblender, however I have now started applying it straight onto my skin and I now prefer to do this. It is a little bit messier but I find the product then blends in better into my skin. The bottle contains 30ml which is the standard size for any foundation. I hate bottles which are big and bulky and take up a lot of space in my makeup drawers. This has a glass bottle but it is small and compact and is easy to travel with.

The most important aspect of any foundation is its actual performance on the skin. I am happy to say that this has pleasantly surprised me. As I have already mentioned it blends in well, and offers a great coverage which is buildable. I think this would be okay also for acne prone skin as you can build up to the finish you desire. I have used this with a variety of concealers and they have blended together well, and have not become patchy or had an affect on the foundations finish. I have worn this to work many times over this test period, and I have been really happy with its longevity on the skin. Overall, I think for £5.99 it is a bargain and a great high street find. In terms of the flashback, it definitely does not make me look shiny in photos especially in my T-zone areas. I have been recommending this to my friends as it reminds me of Charlotte Tilbury's magic foundation but £25 cheaper.



Wednesday 5 December 2018

Aloe Vera Vaseline Lip Balm

On my roaccutane journey my most harsh side effect was definitely how dry my lips became. I was prepared and bought a lot of different lip balms in preparation. I bought budget and high end lip balms to try and prevent the dreaded dry lips. I started out using good old Blistex and it wasn't until about month 3 the toll really struck, and it was just not doing the job. There was cracks and bleeding to my lips and whilst browsing the aisles of Boots I decided to pick up a Vaseline stick lip balm, but not just any old Vaseline, their aloe vera version. Thank the lord I did because from that moment on my lips were on the way to recovery.

I can't pinpoint what makes this Vaseline so special. Hands down this out does any high lip balm. My little trick was to not let it harden. It needs to be soft in order for it really stop any dryness. For the cracking especially in the corners of my lips the Blistex relief cream was a little angel. It was brilliant at filling in those cracks and as it says providing relief. At some points it was so painful, I literally couldn't open my mouth fully or it would bleed. It was also during the warmer months meaning the dryness was inevitable anyway but the sunny weather definitely did not help.

We all know that aloe vera is known for being a calming and soothing property, and I think this is exactly why this excels compared to the other Vaseline products. After my revelation of reaffirming my love with Vaseline, I went and bought the original and the rose version to see the comparison. Although, they did both help with the dryness it just was not to the same standard as the aloe vera. It is a golden lip balm and gets 5 stars from me. Whilst doing a bit of research into the differences between all of the Vaseline range, I discovered that they all contain Vaseline's triple-purified petroleum jelly and Vitamin E. However, the aloe vera version as expected contains aloe extract which is the secret weapon to calming and soothing dry and irritated areas. I knew there must be other ingredients alongside the aloe vera, and it also contains cucumber extract and Vitamin A.

During my 8 months on roaccutane, I think I must have bought at least 6 of these chap sticks. Can I also say that the tin version is definitely different to the stick. I don't know whether it is how it is made when it is put into the tin or stick, but the stick also contains SPF 15. I do not how to describe exactly what makes this little stick so special, but all I can say is if you suffer from persistent dry, chapped lips look no further. 2 months post treatment and my lips are still dry, but thankfully nowhere near as bad as how they used to be. However, I still carry a green stick of joy wherever I go. My sister laughs as I have one in every handbag, and I always have one in my car to take to work. This is just another case of spending more does definitely not buy you the best. The best thing is Vaseline is always on offer in Boots and Superdrug and I have never paid more than £2 for one.



Wednesday 14 November 2018

Netflix Top Picks #2

In January I brought you my first installment of my netflix picks which included some of my favourite shows including - Pretty Little Liars, Cheersquad, 13 Reasons Why, Dynasty, Riverside, Stranger Things and You, Me, Her.

The best Netflix programme to be released for me in 2018 is definitely Queer Eye. It features five fabulous men who basically transfer all aspects of a nominated man's life. Each of the five guys work within an industry such as fashion, lifestyle, home design, relationships and cooking. They use their experiences and put it into place within the life of the person they are trying to help. It is just such a great feel-good programme and I love seeing how they transform someone's life in such an exceptional way.

I watched Girls Incarcerated at the start of the year and I loved it. It is set in an all-girls youth prison in Madison, America. This prison is for lesser crimes such as drug offences and stealing. All the girls are enrolled on a rehabilitation programme and it follows the lives of them in the prison and after finishing the programme back home.

The Staircase is a documentary filmed over an extensive period of years following a real life trail of a family. A woman named Kathleen is found dead at the bottom of the stairs in her home, and her husband Michael is straight away put on trail for her murder. It follows the story and how the trail is put together from the prospective of the police and Michael and his lawyers. I found it very compelling and I was totally gripped leading up the trail. I was totally conflicted and changed my mind with every episode trying to decide my own verdict.

Good Girls is a show which has had me belly-laughing at times. It is based on three mum who are all having their own individual problems at home. They all need money and they start committing petty crimes, as the money comes rolling in the crimes become more and more extravagant. This leads to them making deals with a drug dealer and all of a sudden they are stuck in a very sticky situation.

The Adventures of Sabrina is something I was very excited to watch. I always remember when we were younger me and my sister both watched the TV show for years. This new Netflix show has been great and I love the feminist vibes. Sabrina is so sassy in her ways and views, and I think the part is played brilliantly. I am only currently half way through the series, but I already know I am going to be waiting for series 2 to arrive.

There has been two films I have recently watched which have made me feel 13 again. All the Boys I've Loved Before is a lovely film about a teenage girl called Lara who writes love letters to the all the boys that she has ever fancied. However, they are never meant to be posted, until her little sister decides to send the letters to these boys. It is an easy watch teenage heartthrob movie. Similar to this is The Kissing Booth, which is based on a popular guy falling in love with a quiet girl. However, the girl's new lover just turns out to be her best friend's brother. This is another great film which had me thinking about my high school years.

What is your fave Netflix show?



Sunday 11 November 2018

Is overworking the only way to success?

I have been comparing myself to a lot of people recently as I feel as though everything I read is about having to work yourself in to the ground in order to succeed. I completely understand that it takes a lot of hard work, working endless hours and determination to reach a goal. However, I feel as though I am constantly made to feel as though whatever I do isn't good enough. I have definitely had periods of time in my life where I have doubted myself and my self-esteem has taken a knock. I feel as though I have been witnessing it in all areas of my life. I love that with my job I kind of leave it at the door. I obviously keep up to date with things I need to know about and attend courses, but I have no access to my work email at home and I obviously cannot really take my work home. I think I am lucky in this regard, as I do not think work and home life should mix. On my days off I use them to unwind as it is what I need.

I think blogging as a career is something which you must struggle to leave at the door. You can constantly do your work at home, you can pick up your laptop and start to write a post to get ahead. If I was ever lucky enough to turn blogging into a career, I would have to gain that work/ life balance for my own sanity. Victoria / InTheFrow is my biggest blogger influencer she has done some absolutely incredible work and she deserves all the success. I know on YouTube and on other social media outlets you are only seeing snippets and a snapshot of someone's daily life, but you can tell Victoria puts in the hours daily and nightly. She herself has openly expressed in her vlogs how stressed she has been recently. I also saw Tamara / GlamandGlitter who travels the world on a weekly basis for work, on one of her Instagram posts she flew from the USA to London and back to the USA in 48 hours. Someone asked her how she does it all and she replied honestly saying that there is no time for jet lag as work and content is always needing to be produced. Lastly, she said that it is "mandatory within this industry so I just do it". I honestly think Tamara is also one of the top worldwide influencers and it is easy to see it is due to her hard work. I am just not sure I could cope with all.

I know we all do things in different ways; I am not trying to compare woman to woman in the slightest. All jobs have different schedules and I am not going to deny this year I have come home from work and cried quite a few times at what I have seen and coped with. I know with time this will improve. I look up to the more senior staff for support but it can be crazy. We are all tested in life, but what I really wanted this post to be about is - does working all hours god send = success?

I do see certain influencers telling their viewers to chase their dreams and that everyone can do anything they want to. I just worry that we are moving in the direction that success only comes from running yourself into the ground. We are only appreciated if for example I volunteer to go into work on my day off. I am only coming from the perspective of the industry I work in, and I have also been a blogger for 5 years.

My friends and I have discussions about this often. Honestly, my friends have achieved so much already, and I have friends who are still working on their final goal. I do however find we all have a common ground of being realistic. I get people saying why don't you travel the world whilst you are young and have no attachments. Hun, I would love to, but it isn't just as easy to get up and go. I am just not sure that we can do everything that we dream of.

You can clearly see from how I have portrayed this post, that I have been comparing myself to others. Social media can be the devil, and I know that we have to be open the idea that most of social media is just the best and sometimes fake aspects of someone's life. I am just not sure how we measure success. I think many measure successes by the amount of money you have in your bank account. But does this equal happiness? I think we can often overload ourselves with work. I understand that in the blogging industry, it is difficult to earn money as you are relying on campaigns and regular readers in order to secure a steady income. It is essential though that we get that balance for our own sanity. It is not healthy to have no time away from your work life. Working so hard with such intensity at some point it has to come to a head and an aspect of your health whether it is physical, emotional or mental is going to start to be affected. However, once you are in the routine of this 24/7 work mode, it becomes life and it is harder to get out of the cycle than we think.

I can see it from the other side of this, that hard work does take determination, sleepless nights and sometimes risks. I am not in any way denying we shouldn't work hard to reach our goals, as it does take a mixture of so many things to become successful. I think what I am really trying to say is success is measured in lots of different ways. We need to all be a little kinder to ourselves and learn that things can take time to get there. I have learnt to stop comparing myself to others, and measure my own success by what I have achieved already. I have a mental list of everything I want to achieve but I know it will take time, and I need to not be too hard on myself. Things can sometimes takes a little bit longer than expected and that is okay.



Wednesday 7 November 2018


Whilst on our travels around Tuscany and Florence, we decided to take a day trip to Siena. The only downside was from Florence it took an hour and a half to get there, which for a day trip is quite a long way. However, we have heard such great things about and it was a must- visit place in our guide book so we decided we needed to make the effort to go. As the journey was long we planned it all the day before to make it as seamless as possible. We got on a train at around 9am and the train was direct to Siena. It might seem like on this trip we visited to a lot of cathedrals, but this was a must see attraction and my god I am so glad we did it. From the front it is stunning with the huge stain glass window, but out of all the duomos (cathedrals) we visited I think Pisa's front was my favourite.

The tickets to go into the cathedrals cost 15 euros which at first we all thought was quite expensive. We found that each town and city very much varied in price as to how much they charged to visit their own cathedral. The cathedral inside was honestly absolutely breath-taking, I was very much taken a back. I can hands down say it was the most stunning place which I have ever visited, ever. My parents and I were just wandering around trying to take it all in, but it was just so beautiful. The entirety of the flooring throughout the place was covered in marble. Each different slab of flooring told a story. They have laid a small pathway throughout the cathedral to try and preserve the flooring from wear, which is completely understandable due to the immense amount of tourists who visit on a daily basis. Each piece of marble flooring told completely different stories and all done with such intricate detailing, we stood around each one interpreting what is trying to be portrayed. 

There was library which didn't look like anything special from the outside, but wow from the inside it was something else. From the pictures you can see that the entirety of the ceiling was covered in embossing which were brightly coloured. You can see that is has been really well maintained, and it was definitely the surprising element of this visit. Every single part of this duomo is beautiful, and I can easily say that the interior is the best I have ever seen. When you get back from your holidays and people ask "did you have a great time?" this visit to Siena is what I have been telling everyone about.

We discovered through reading in the handbook that there is a secret viewing point which you can go to. It was kind of hidden away in one of the back buildings. It was a little tight and narrow spiral staircase which you go up. It was all worth all the steps as you get to see this absolutely beautiful view of the entire town. You were able to see how big the site of the duomo really was and all the different elements which make it up.

There is no denying that the duomo is the stand out piece within Siena. However, the town its self is stunning. There was lots of shops to looks round and the whole town oozed character. As on all holidays we stopped for endless coffee and cake tea breaks. Overall, it was such a great relaxed day where we were able to stroll around at our leisure taking in everything around us. I have also written posts about Florence and Pisa if you want to find out about the rest of this trip.


Sunday 4 November 2018


Whilst on my travels around Florence (which you can read all about here), we decided to do a one day trip to Pisa. We had pre-planned the trip so we set off from Florence centrale train station early doors and the train to Pisa was approximately one hour. When we got there we needed to get a bus to the sites that we wanted to see. The main reason for this trip was to see the leaning tower. Until I did some research before the trip happened, I did not release that the tower is in fact on a world heritage site which holds a variety of different site seeing opportunities. 

Once on the site we were in absolute awe of just how beautiful everything was. The Pisa tower is one of four buildings which make up this complex. The first building constructed was the Cathedral called Duomo di Pisa which is absolutely inspiring, and it is set on a white marble platform. The next addition to be created was the baptistery. Then finally the campanile and the cemetery were added. When you buy your tickets you have to decide what package you want to buy. You buy the tickets for the tower on their own and they cost €18 each to go up to the top. The rest of the sites you can buy in different combinations for one site it was €5, for two €7 and for 3 €8. We decided we want to just pay €5 the baptistery. To go into the cathedral it is free, but you have to go to the ticket office to get a ticket with a specific time on which I think is a great idea so you do not end up queuing for hours.

I thought it was all very organised as we decided to go up the tower first we arrived at 12pm and we managed to get a 1pm slot. There have 40 slots per every 15 minutes. My dad and I arrived and we got into the entrance of the tower at 1.05pm. There are 297 steps to climb up which does not seem a lot when saying it out loud. However, the steps were small in width and the spiral up to the top was very tight. Once at the top though, it was worth all the huffing and puffing that it took to get there. The views were absolutely incredible from the top. The tower has eight stories stacked on top of each other. At the top you can feel the definite slant in the tower, you can stay and walk around the top platform and look at the bell chambers.

This is the view from the top of the duomo  -

The cathedral was absolutely beautiful both inside and out, and even if you don't want to pay to go into the sites it is worth a trip just to walk around the collection of buildings and look inside the duomo. I have been completely overwhelmed by the beauty of the duomo's which I visited whilst on this trip to Italy. The baptistery was just as magnificent as everywhere else, and we all came away saying how glad we were that we made the effort to go.

Unfortunately, when we got back to the train station we did not have enough time to explore the town of Pisa. I would love to go back if I had the opportunity to and see what more it has to offer.


Wednesday 31 October 2018


I recently jetted off on a six day trip to Florence. Italy is my favourite place I have ever been to, and I know I am very lucky to have visited different parts of the country 9-10 times in my life. Florence was a city which I had never been to before and I had heard so many people saying it was a must visit place that quite spontaneously we went and booked it.

There is no denying that this trip was not cheap. Italy is not a cheap place a visit, I don't think it can really be done on a very tight budget if you want to see and do everything. Baring this in mind we did go in the October half term holidays which does always make it more expensive. My parents like to book a package holiday, for the simple reason you know that everything is sorted and it is an easier life. For this trip to get from the airport to our hotel, it involved getting our own way there. To get to Florence from the UK you fly in to Pisa airport. There is an airport in Florence, but it is for internal flights only. We got off the plane in Pisa, and we had researched before going how to get to Florence and the journey was in fact pretty seamless. We bought the train tickets at the airport and got on a small metro called the Pisamover which is easy to find within the airport and takes you to the Pisa Centrale station in 10 minutes. Once in Pisa Centrale we then got a train to Florence, the journey on the way took 48 minutes. The price of the combination ticket was 11.30 euros each. 

Before booking the trip we decided we would want quite a central hotel as we knew we wanted to take a few day trips to different parts of the country. The hotel we decided in was called the Hotel Caravaggio. It was an easy 10 minute walk from the train station to the hotel. The hotel was lovely, the staff was great and we opted for the bed and breakfast option.

The first day was long as we set off to Manchester Airport at 6am for our flight, and we arrived in the hotel at 3pm. We wanted to quickly unpack and then go and explore. It is great on your first day to go out and find your bearings. We had a great wander round and picked up some late dinner as we were all very hungry. After refuelling we wandered around the city and we found the Duomo. I have to say this is such a wonderful site, and I was very taken a back. It is enormous and it is such a stunning place. It was one of those where no matter how you tried to take a picture, it will never ever look as good as it does in front of you. It is the centre piece of the city, and we ended up seeing it on a daily basis in passing and everyday we would all stand and take it all in again. As it was the first night we didn't want to go too far, so we went for a stroll and we ended up at a small family run trattoria called La Divina Osteria on Via Guelfa. This restaurant is the exact reason Italy is my favourite place. I had my first pasta dish of the holiday and it did not disappoint. In Italy depending on where you are visiting the prices can vary quite dramatically. In this restaurant pizza and pasta dishes ranged from 9-13 euros, which we all thought was very reasonable. We were also very happy to see that a litre of the house white wine for just 12 euros!!

Ponte Vecchio was built in 1218 but then it had to be rebuilt in 1345 and overlooks the River Arno. There has been shops on the bridge since the 13th century. It originally used as a market for locals to get fresh produce. In later years, more expensive shops such as goldsmiths and jewellers moved on to the bridge. In more recent years, there is now a large variety of shops both high and low end which is bustling on a daily basis with both locals and tourists.

We decided that one place that we definitely wanted to visit was Pitti Palace. It is a large collection of museums all in on one site. You are able to go into lots of different parts of the palace where the generations of families used to live. This includes the museum of modern art, the silver museum, costume gallery, the porcelain museum and the palatine gallery. It is also surrounded by huge gardens which are beautiful.

That evening we decided to go to dinner at a restaurant near the Duomo, it was called Nuttini and was just off Saint Lorenzo square. We once again had fantastic food and the pizza was amazing!

On day 3 we had planned our trip to Pisa which was super exciting.

Before visiting Pisa, I thought that the leaning tower was on a site on its own. In fact the tower is located on a world heritage site called the square of miracles. There are four different sites to visit on the square - the leaning tower, Duomo di Pisa, baptistery and the cemetery.

The Duomo is built on top of a white marble pavement and is very impressive to look at. It is a prime example of romanesque architecture. The leaning tower is obviously the main tourist attraction that people flock to see. My dad and I paid 18 euros each to walk up the spiralling tower. It was a lot of steps, but it was great and the views from the top were incredible. I am going to write a post dedicated to Pisa next week.

This evening we decided we wanted to eat something a bit different and we had seen that there was a little Indian restaurant close to our hotel which was always bustling. It was called Indian Palace on Via Guelfa, and the food was delicious. On holiday it is always nice to try different cuisines and this definitely did not disappoint.

We had decided on day 4 to visit the city of Siena. This was a bit of a spontaneous trip, and we are so glad that we did it. From Florence to Siena on the train it was quite a long trip, it took about 1hr 30 mins and cost 10 euros each return.

This Duomo looked less impressive on the outside compared to the one in Florence, however inside it was absolutely stunning. It cost 15 euros to go round into all the different parts, which we thought was expensive but it was definitely worth it. It was honestly incredible. The floor was marble and each individual bit of the floor was carved with stunning representations as to what was going on in that particular period of time. The most stunning surprise was the library which had an incredible ceiling which had paintings on it. I am also going to be doing a separate post too on this trip.

On day 5 we stayed within Florence and decided to have a relaxed day of strolling, eating and shopping! We ended up in a little square called Piazza de Santa Croce, which was not as busy as lots of others as it is on the edge of the city. This is called the Church of Santa Croce which we didn't pay to go in as we had already been in to a lot of churches by this point. It is definitely worth a wander down into the square though if you have a chance. We went to a lovely pizzeria called Pizza Napoli on Via dei Neri, it was lovely and I had a to die for lasagne with some rose wine.

There were a few tourist attractions in Florence which we didn't actually go to. I think your holiday is yours to have and do what you want with it. As a family we are not into art or have a dying interest to go round galleries. However, if galleries are your thing and you are willing to wait in 3 hour queues then there are two which you should definitely visit. The first is La Galleria de Uffizi, this is a museum that contains one of the oldest and most famous art collections in the world. It displays work by Giotto, Paolo Uccello, Botticelli and De Vinci. The second being Galleria dell 'Academia, which is mostly known as it is home to some of Michelangelo's work including Prisoners, St.Matthew's and the must see statue of David.

On the last day we had a flight at 1pm meaning we had to get up early in order to make the journey back to Pisa. Overall, I had an absolutely fantastic time in Florence and its surrounding areas.


Sunday 21 October 2018

Makeup Revolution Conceal and Define Foundation

The reason that I was very excited about the launch of this foundation by Makeup Revolution was due to it being described as the perfect combination with their concealer which you may or may not know that I am a massive fan of. I have an in depth review of the concealer here if you wish to read it. First of all, I loved the concealer due to its full coverage and how it felt when applied to my skin. I have repurchased this concealer numerous times since I published that post.

I described the concealer as being lightweight and easy to apply, and I agree with this when also describing the foundation. It once again comes with a doe foot applicator which is huge and I think it fine with the concealer as you are applying it to a precise area. However, with the foundation which you want to the entirety of your face it can be a little fussy. I end up applying it to each cheek, forehead and chin area, but I find it hard to know the amount I need and often end up going back for more, which I guess does stop wastage. As always, I use my damp beauty blender to blend it into my face. I have used this with a blending brush and it also worked well. I like how this blended into my skin and it did not crease or cling to any part of my face. I did first apply my trusty Kiehl's oil free moisturiser which I use on a daily basis before I apply any makeup.

I was most excited about it having a creamy consistency which I like nowadays due to my dry skin. Over the years, I have had oily, combination and now dry skin meaning I have tried a lot of different foundation finishes. The consistency to the concealer and foundation is so similar, therefore I checked the ingredients in case they had fooled us and had just upgraded the packaging with a new name, and all a long is was just a much bigger concealer. I am happy to report there are some differences within the ingredients. I feel as though the foundation dries to a more matte finish than the concealer. I am still working hard with my skin to get it to love a matte finish foundation. I have been testing this in all different ways and I do in fact like it rather a lot. The consistency is smooth and very easy to blend, I love how creamy it feels when applied to the skin. However much I love this, I have to say it does dry down quite matte on my skin due to its dryness. I think I can look a little flat and too matte so I need to add some glow back into my skin. I sometimes also notice later on in the day when I catch a glimpse in the mirror that it has started settling in to my skin. I have this problem with many foundations and often need a mist to freshen things up again.

It is a full coverage foundation which is great, as the high street definitely struggles at perfecting full coverage foundations which are not cakey or really thick. I do not know how they have done it, but it is still light and thin when applied to the skin and this is the stand out feature of the foundation. I love that it is also oil-free, as oils and my skin do not mix well and often causes breakouts. You can build it easily to how you desire, for me one application is perfect and it covers those imperfections which shine through with light to medium coverage foundations. I do not really have anything to compare this to as it is a demi-matte finish. The new Primark velvet foundation which I reviewed (link here) has a similar consistency.

In terms of shade ranges Makeup Revolution have done a fantastic job. There are 24 shades in this range which is fabulous and means everyone can buy budget friendly products. I choose F4 as I wear the concealer C4. I am so happy that the colours match up perfectly as it makes things so much easier when shopping. This is a really good match for my skin which is described as being light with a pink undertone by the brand. In my concealer post I mentioned the confusion with the size of the bottle, and I think Makeup Revolution have pulled the wool over our eyes again. This bottle looks pretty huge to me but on closer inspection for £9 you get 23ml. Most foundations have 30ml in them so there is definitely a lot of the bottle with no product in it. I think £9 is a really good price for this foundation, but compared to your average sized bottle you are losing over a quarter of amount of product compared to your 30ml bottle. I would still very much recommend this foundation, and it has fast become a go to product for me.



Sunday 14 October 2018

Finishing Roaccutane

My last roaccutane update was at the end of month 6. We are now at 7 and a half months and I have decided to finish taking my medication two weeks earlier than planned. I went to the dermatologist last week, and as soon as I walked into the consultation room he said "Lucy I think we should stop at 8 months". I was really happy he said it before I got that chance too, as I have wanted to finish it for the last month or so. Due to appointments I had ended up with three weeks' worth of medication left, so he said to finish that and then stop. I decided myself this week I wanted to stop. When I took my last contraceptive pill for this month, on that day I also took my last roaccutane tablets. It has been a long time coming and I have had such strange effects the last 8 weeks or so, I needed to do it.

I have felt such a change in my mood. I have been crying on a daily basis, not even because I feel particularly low in mood but anything triggers tears. This is something I have never experienced and it is either my pill or the roaccutane. My contraceptive pill I have been on is rigevidon and I have been on this many times before, and never had these side effects. I did a lot of research before deciding to take roaccutane and this seems to be a common side effect. I have also been over thinking everything which I have been doing, and it has made me a little on edge. I just have not enjoyed the way I have been feeling and I decided to finish it all at once. I want to be completely hormone free, I don't want anything extra in my body and I am hoping this will take me back to my old self.

There is no denying roaccutane has changed my life. I cannot describe how much happier it makes me being spot free. It is so nice talking about my acne in the past tense, as it has been with me for over 10 years. I am going to do before and after pictures, but I am going to post them in my final roaccutane post which will be up in December. The dermatologist wants me to have a final appointment in December to check that everything is still okay. I am so nervous about the aspect of the acne returning. He said to me that my nose was looking shiny and my eyes literally filled my tears. I looked in the mirror in the room and to me my nose has been so much shinier than it was in that moment. I am just going to try and not focus on it. I am so happy that I now feel confident makeup free, and that at the end of the day was my goal for this entire process. I feel as though I have lost my love for makeup as I have wanted to keep my skin as clear as I can, so I am excited to get back into the makeup love affair. I am still keeping my skincare routine as simple as possible as I know my skin is still fragile. I'll tell you what I am excited about - getting my eyebrows waxed and tinted!

In terms of other side effects, my skin has very much settled down. My lips are still very dry, my aloe vera vaseline is still my most trusty friend. They crack a ridiculous amount on a daily basis, and I cannot wait for them to get back normal.

I am really excited to see what the next month or two holds. However, I do not feel as though I am in the clear yet. I am praying that my skin is still beautiful and my hormones re-balance and I start to feel like the old me.



Sunday 7 October 2018

Getting my blogging game back on

I know I have written a few of these posts over my blogging years. I think having nearly had this blog for five years, it is definitely bound to happen over time. For a few months throughout the summer I literally had rock bottom motivation to even open up blogger and consider writing any kind of post. It was strange, but I knew that everything would be okay and it would bypass just like many times before. I always find that after a holiday I feel like I got my mojo back and I am reading to knuckle down with all things to do with my blog.

I feel like in my nearly 5 years of blogging things have changed so much, and does with such speed it can sometimes make you feel like you are not in the game at all. I feel like everyone around me is upping their game, and I am at the bottom of the heap struggling to stay afloat. I think this is often how you can feel in life in general. I have definitely experienced this many times, when you feel everyone around you is achieving and you are either plateauing or sinking. When I finally get that urge again to go out and get what I want, it spurs me on in wanting to better myself and my blog. I also use this moto in all aspects of my life. There is no way you are going to go through your life every day of every year being at the top of your game, life comes with peaks and troves and it's how we overcome them which is the biggest achievement.

I do find though that the blogosphere changes at such a rapid rate. When it is just a hobby, you do find yourself feeling as though you are left behind, I often remind myself this is not my job. Trying to beat the Instagram algorithms on a daily basis, posting at a certain time, having a specific theme all with the same colour, posting twice a day, it can all take a toll and it does sometime take the fun aspect away of blogging for me. It is no longer just your one blog and that platform, every time a new social media app comes out it is getting on board with it. It is the little things such as planning when I am taking my break at work to get my photo up bob on 8am, I just sit and laugh sometimes because it really is not real life in the slightest. I think out of all of the things I tell myself, remembering that social media really is just the greater aspects of someone's life on show, a snap shot, and someone's smile can easily fade after the photo has been taken. I love Instagram and I think it is a great app, but I find it the most stressful out of them all.

I think if I came into the blogging world now as a newbie other social medias would take preference over an actual blog. Calling yourself a blogger seems to have drifted out and it's either an influencer or a content creator, in all honestly I can't really get on board with either of those as I will and always will be a blogger, as this is where I started and what I enjoy the most. I do fear that blogging is slowly but surely taking a backseat. When I first started my favourite bloggers were posting every single day, and I know other social media outlooks have come into play, and for some they have definitely taken priority. People aren't taking the time to post lengthy, in depth posts about products anymore, when they can write it in a quick caption on Insta or Twitter. Blogging is what changed and structure this new and exciting industry, and things definitely do need to change along the way in order for it to continue to develop. However, I do fear blogging is slowly deteriorating as we have seen with other social networks sites such as MySpace. In all honesty, all of these thoughts and feelings are definitely what pushes me to continue with my blog, as I want the blogging space and community to go on for as long as possible.

I really have never been one to look at my stats closely and analysis them. I do however love it when I see a particular post which has done really well, as this then helps me to plan and create my future content. I think expanding from just beauty posts, into lifestyle and travel was such a great move for me as it allowed me to have so much more scope to write about. I love a blog with varied content which you get engrossed in to, as before you know it you have read 10 posts and it keeps you wanting to go back for more.

I do need to continue to push myself in order to keep my mind-set fresh and keep the content coming on a regular basis. I often get stuck in ruts; I won't take photos for two weeks and instead of putting time to one side to do this, I just let the time dwindle away with me. I recently went on a jam pack weekend away which involved lots of activities, and I picked up my phone only at night. I felt fantastic and I thought to myself why do I spend an hour scrolling Twitter endlessly when I could be utilising my time writing posts. I moan, like everyone does, about time management and being too busy. That weekend away really did put into perspective that it is how we choose to use our spare time, and that really counts. I am all for days of just doing absolute nothing, my job is demanding and sometimes I don't want to wake up and force myself to create content. However, I am definitely going to try and get into a better more structured routine. I love getting things done first thing in the morning, as it leaves me with the rest of the day to do whatever I want without that sense of guilt hanging over you. I know I waste endless amount of hours scrolling on my phone, and it is my goal to make that stop.

All in all, until I get a real urge that blogging is 100% no longer for me this blog will continue. I still struggle with explaining to my friends what I do and what it involves, and I really do not think until you have done it you can explain it. I do love that it is an outlet just for me, that none of my close friends actually share with me. It is my own little own project which I run by myself. Most importantly, it gives me a mind-set for a period of time for me to do what I want to as I complete control of it.



Wednesday 26 September 2018

Primark's Berry Velvets (Huda Beauty Dupe)

There is no denying Primark have invested a lot of money and time into their beauty section over the last year. I often visit their huge store in Manchester, and the aisles of beauty products seem to grow every time I go in. That obviously means that every time I go in I need to investigate any new items. There is no denying that they produce products so fast to keep up with trends just like their clothing, however I think their recent releases definitely got me thinking about the whole dupes/copying high end brands issue which is often talked about in the beauty industry.

When I went into Primark at the start of August and was browsing the aisles of the makeup, my eyes were drawn to a small stand of eye palettes in quad shapes. I picked up berry velvets and I was instantly happy with the colour scheme within this quad. Hence the name, the shades are all themed around berry tones which are my favourites during the Autumn. I was drawn to these petite quad shaped palettes, as I had been longing after a Huda Beauty quad eyeshadow palette for the longest time. If you look at Huda's mauve obsession palette, you will be able to instantly see the resemblance between them. The 9 shades are definitely based around the same shade range, and also come with a mix of mattes and metallics. However, Huda's palette is £25 and the Primark version is £3.

There was a sample quad which I was able to swatch and I was surprised at how pigmented they looked on first impressions. The problem with Primark makeup is consumers do not always use the swatch palette on the display to test the colours, meaning many of the products get ruined. I was glad to see that they have started coating their palettes with a plastic layer which needed to be cut off after being purchased. This was only £3 which I thought was an absolute bargain so I put it into my basket and headed on my merry way.

I have been playing around with this Primark berry velvets palette for a few weeks now, and I am very happy to report that you need to run down to your local Primark and pick it up. I have tried and reviewed many Primark beauty products over the last year, but never any eyeshadows and I have to say they have done exceptionally well with this range. I do love buying high end eyeshadow palettes, I think Urban Decay's heat palette is my most used palette which I own. However, I am definitely not a beauty lover who only buys high end products, as I definitely buy more from high streets shops. I love finding products which are great high end alternatives for a fraction of the price.

My favourite two shadows which I have been wearing together are sweetness (mid toned pink) with wild hearts (pink metallic) blended together. Devotion is a copper metallic and is such a beautiful and well pigmented shade. There are three shades which on swatch look a little bit chalky, they are peace (white pearlised), selfish (mid toned purple metallic) and tough love (dark plum mettalic). However, the two darker purple shades selfish and tough love look great when applied to the eye. Pearl is a little bit light for me as I love using this kind of shade for under my brow bone, and it does not quite give me the pop I wanted. Although, humble (light pink metallic) is perfect for this and has beautiful pigmentation.

Overall, for £3 this is one of the best high street palettes which I have tried for a while. Normally, on the high street this palette would cost £8/9 at a minimum, so I am not quite sure how Primark has managed to produce such a good quality palette for such a small price. The packaging is card and the corners will probably start to ruin after a few uses, but I have noticed a lot of palettes are now coming in card packaging. I think that this will be a brilliant palette to travel with as it is so dinky and portable. I am very impressed with this and there was two other palettes in this range, one had smokey brown tones and the other was bright and vibrant. I will definitely be looking out for them on my future visits to pick up and try.



Sunday 23 September 2018


I haven't been this excited to write a blog post in ages. My trip to Madeira was honestly one of the best, and I have so many memories which I know I will treasure forever. Before going on this trip I really did not know much about the island in the slightest. My parents had visited 25 years ago and always had such fantastic things to say about it. As I went with my parents on this trip I kind of just let them plan it, and was just happy to having our annual family two week summer holiday booked.

I did do some research before we went and we always buy a guidebook which I think is a staple for any trip. We noted that there were a few tourist attractions and places which we definitely wanted to visit. My parents still love to go holidays where you have a rep. This year it was very useful as we attended the welcome meeting and we were told a lot about the city of Funchal which is where we were staying. We stayed about the Hotel Girassol which was located just on the outskirts of the city. There were lots of hotels in this part of the city as it was just a little bit away from the main city action, but there were still lots of bars, restaurants and shops.

We were told by the rep that getting into the centre of Funchal would be a 30 minute walk. Most of the time we opted to use the local buses which costs €1.95 per person each way. It was a 10 minute journey and the buses were every 15 minutes. This was the first holiday where we have ever been all-inclusive and I have to say it was definitely good value for money. We usually go self-catered and I did the miss being able to stroll and choose the restaurant and have a more varied selection of food. However, the hotel did provide a good variety of food, but by day 14 as I think with any all-inclusive holiday we were a little bit bored. On two of the nights we choose to eat out of the hotel but just stayed in our smaller resort and the food was great. One thing we did notice though is that the food is not cheap. A meal for 3 would cost €60-75 depending on if we wanted wine or not. We did all say though that the food was delicious so we did not mind paying it, but if you were self-catered it would have been a large expense. We also ate in the centre of Funchal when we went in for either the attractions of to look further around the city. Once again the food was great, and there was a wide range of food on offer. If you like fish then Madeira is perfect for you, as they catch all their fish locally and it is one of the main trades and incomes for the island.

The first attraction we did was the cable cars. This is definitely one of the top tourist attractions which Madeira has to offer to visitors. The cable cars take you into the hills and when I say it goes high, it goes high! I'm not a huge fan of heights, but this shocked me as on the way up I felt queasy and scared. Once at the top you arrive in Monte which is a small village, we planned to go around the Botanical Gardens which you can only get to by taking the second cable car half way back down the hill. This was opened in the 1960's by the Reid's family (who I will come onto later). The gardens were lovely to walk around as the sun was shining and it was a pleasant, but steep walk. We then went to a lovely little cafe that has the most fantastic views overlooking the island.

When we go on holiday I always think the sightseeing buses are worth paying for. They give you a great insight of the city, you learn about their history and also you can hop on and off to sights which you want to see. We chose to go on the city sightseeing bus as it went to all of the places we wanted to visit. On the first day we decided to get the blue line which took us to Monte, where we went to the Monte Palace Tropical Gardens. Out of the two gardens if you only have time to visit one, I would definitely choose this one. It is absolutely huge in total is covers 70,000 square meters, and it took us hours to go round. This is also fairly steep, as it is set in the hills but it was so beautiful. There are waterfalls, bridges and tropical houses which have exotic plants from all over the world. It is kind of like a spiral down and when you reach the middle you get to the museum which so beautiful to look at, it is surrounded by such an array of plants and trees and has a lake running throughout the middle of it.

Monte is also where you can get on their famous basket carts, they are basically big wooden woven baskets which two people sit in. You start at the top of a very steep hill and two men push you down and it's basically a big slide, but in fact it is down one of their regular roads with cars. We were considering doing this but we thought it was expensive and we did not have a real desire to do it, although it would have definitely have been fun.

On the second day of using our city-seeing bus tour ticket, we visited a place called Camara de Lobos. The bus which takes you here are much smaller as they have to get up the narrow winding roads into the very edges of the island. When you reach the top there is a large fishing port and a picaresque stretch of shops and restaurants. We spent an hour or two looking round and then sat down overlooking the port and had some lunch. On the way back down we finished off by swapping buses and seeing the other parts of the tour which we had not yet done.

Reid's Palace was somewhere which my mum had mentioned quite a few times, and was definitely at the top of her must visit list. The rep informed us of what it was and its location, my mum was determined for us to go during our holiday at some point for their famous afternoon tea. There was so much to write about that I have actually written an individual post all about it here. To give a very concise round up, Reid's Palace is a five stars hotel which is in Funchal, they offer an afternoon tea where you sit on their balcony which overlooks the entire island. It is a must visit trip from me, and it is a memory which we will all be telling people when this holiday is brought up in conversation.

The city of Funchal itself has a lot of exploring on offer, as it has an old and a new town. Within the new town they host many well-known shops, and I definitely did more shopping than I expected! The city also has a cathedral which is open must times of the day, and has some stunning stain-glass windows to view. The city is perfect for strolling and stopping off for a tea and cake every hour. Funchal is a popular destination as the first stop on a lot of European cruise liners, meaning that some days the city could be very busy with a large amount of tourists. This is great for the locals and their businesses as it brings a lot amount of income for them.

Overall, I had such a fantastic holiday and I have recommended to everyone who will listen that they should visit Madeira. They live such a lovely and relaxed lifestyle, and I definitely de-stressed and relaxed from the usual hustle and bustle of everyday life. I don't think I would rush back as I feel as though we thoroughly explored a lot of the island. I love to discover new places and I cannot wait for my next adventure.

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